The Planning Begins


ITU Tilt-Rotor VTOL UAV concept from here



A good mate and I were talking a few weeks ago about the AR Drone and it's possible application in scouting for our hunting trips. We discussed putting bigger batteries in it and using a directional antenna to increase it's range and flight time but we came across several problems, the first being the fact that by the time we unpacked it and flew it out to it's maximum range, one of us could have just walked over and taken a look for ourselves.


This prompted a discussion on what our actual requirements were and after seeing a few youtube clips of aggressive maneuvering by quadrotors, we decided to build. My mate has an electronics background and mine is IT so we figured we'd be able to work the project ourselves. I fly micro helicopters as well as R/C planes and have built several from scratch.


Our requirements are these:

  1. Man Portable
  2. VTOL
  3. Autonomous flight via waypoints
  4. Ability to loiter
  5. Video Feed

So from here... the Planning begins.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • A yes the range. Well that's the kicker isn't it. The flights would most likely be heavily wooded area and mountain terrain so a fixed wing drone would be limited without VTOL and a copter would be lost within the first 3 missions.

    As for 3G reception, it's hard enough getting it everywhere in the cities of Australia let alone the bush.


    My current vision is a tricopter that transitions into fixed wing electric flight, heads off to the waypoint while streaming (and recording) video and then comes back or loiters depending on it's mission.


    I'm off to work so I'll have to finish this in about 8 hours :)


  • You might have missed one important item on your reqs list: long-range radio comms.


    The primary reason, why AR.Drone is not that cool is Wi-Fi range. The first thing I'd do if I had one would be to put some WiFi-to-3G software on an android phone and stick it to the Parrot toy. And I'd get GPS as a bonus. (There's also a ton of cool autopilot programming you could put on that phone.)

  • Developer

    A plane like a Skywalker would be your best bet. You can fly for a long time - 40-50 minutes easy. It's a great FPV platform and it won't make you sweat while it's in the air. If you have a clear view you can launch one and you can land it somewhere else more suitable if needed. You can get a crazy long range out of it. Just Google "trappy". An Easystar is a good second choice if size is a constraint.


    However, a copter would not be the best choice. Expensive, hard to fix in the field. A harrowing 10 min flight time. They are somewhat loud, though less than a Parrot. And the range is severely limited by the battery. When it dies, so does your copter.


    I like the fatshark video googles from RangeVideo. They replaced my first set of *crap* headplay goggles. 

This reply was deleted.